1. Be polite. Whether it’s a networking event, job fair, or other career-related event, showcase your inner strengths by patiently waiting your turn to speak with recruiters or hiring managers, properly shake hands (dry, firm, one-handed shake), and address the each person by his or her title (Dr., Ms., Mr.) and last name (unless the event is extremely informal — then you can use first names). There are times in job-hunting in which assertiveness is important (to demonstrate your interest in the job), but there is no excuse for not being polite.
2. Dress for the occasion. For job-search events in most professions, the suit is the expected attire — and especially for the job interview. You can do your research and determine the level of attire you need, but if you can’t, then it’s always much better to dress above than dress below.
3. Be punctual. One of the biggest etiquette mistakes a job-seeker can make is arriving late. Whether you’re simply going cross town or driving a great distance, always know the route you’re going to take, take a practice run (if possible), and build in extra time for getting lost, street closures, and accidents. Finally, don’t overstay your welcome — even if your return flight is hours away; when the interviews are done, say your thank-yous and leave.
4. Learn to listen. While a great deal of time is spent helping job-seekers prepare great job-search related communication tools — elevator speeches and interview responses — the art of listening is often overlooked. Ignoring what a recruiter or a network contact is saying so that you can simply throw in another plug for yourself is simply rude.
5. Be knowledgeable. Appearing ignorant — or disinterested — about a prospective employer is a major lapse in job-search etiquette. By showcasing your knowledge of the employer (and even the interviewer), you demonstrate how serious you are about the opportunity while also gaining serious etiquette points. Preparation is a key skill to learn.